Saturday, July 30, 2011

re organizing

It's been a week of re-organizing, switching things around, setting up bedrooms. I'm nesting... not in a pregnant type of way, mind you (I'm pretty sure that chapter has been closed), but in a big-changes type of way. Public school. Possibly a new job. New schedules. Ceiling paint... you know, it's big stuff!

Change out in the world always inspires change in the home, for me, anyway. It makes me want to be more organized, so at a moment's meltdown, I'll be prepared. Theoretically. Plus, now I know what kinds of clothes the kids need on tax-free shopping weekend, which is next weekend!

(ahh...if only it WERE real simple...)

The clincher in all this change, though, is to remember that while the world is changing, God remains the same. I know my need for re-organizing is from my need to be in control... and I'm so not... it's a hard concept, and always a tough lesson for me. God is God, and I am not should really be my mantra, my prayer, my meditation. Who cares if I can find the staples next week (besides me and whomever is having a meltdown about staples...) -I'll tell you: surprise, it's no one! The way I handle it though, will be based on a perspective that defines, "who is really in control, here?"

It's almost funny, really, because it should let us (women, mothers, control freaks) off the hook. Almost funny, because, really... do I feel let off the hook? No? Maybe? Not really?


My children are hopelessly bored today because they have endured a week mostly at home. I think we will have to go to the pool,or something. I'm trying to foster some independence in them, really, but I guess they all still need some distraction, and direction, and, thankfully, mommy-time:)

Prayers for all my friends who are travelling this week... some for not even fun reasons. Prayers for all the birthdays and families that are celebrating life and vacations. Prayers for my brother and his family (moving!!!).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Home sweet home

We have travelled a little over 6000 mile in a week... what a cool thing to say!

The jet lag (which is NOT just being sleepy) is a bummer, though... and oh, my goodness, laundry...

Our first flight took the girls and I (Tommy got to hand with my parents; he wanted to see the Amish in Shipshewanna with them) from DCA to MSP (Katie: awwwww, but I though we were going to Seattle, first. Me: We are, honey, but we have to change planes in Minneapolis to get there. Katie: Change? We have to jump? Do we get a parachute? Me: no... we are landing and changing planes on the ground. Katie: Ground? Are we crashing?)... I could go on, but you get the idea. My baby was very nervous...

Danielle was just chillin' enjoying the flight, rolling her eyes slightly, but being helpful, speaking in that higher pitched soft voice, "It's ok...".

Second flight... TVs in the seat backs! Yea! Much better once we took off because Katie and Danielle were a little distracted. This does make for better travel.

So, we land in Seattle, and we are all sooooo excited, and it's wonderful and exciting to see our best friends Amy, Emily (hello, growth spurt), and Anna (so brave!!!). We get to see the Space Needle (Katie and Anna will. not. go. up... so Amy, Danielle and I do- thanks, Em for watching the little ones), and flying fish at Pikes Place Market, and beautiful flowers...

We got to spend four days in and around Bainbridge Island! Some amazing authors live out this way, and it's cool to be able to see places that they write about. We did not venture to Forks because it would have been a 6 hour minimum round trip car ride, plus Katie was scared of the vampires lurking around out there... BUT... we got to see the Grand Forest, go horseback riding with Emily, we got to visit Poulsbo (a viking town... must google what the vikings were doing in Washington), and we got to see Fey Bainbridge park, Fort Ward and Winslow... beautiful... wonderful... fantastic.

Then, time to head back East...

Katie: ANOTHER plane?! Me: yes, honey, how are we supposed to get back, we didn't bring a car. Katie: Can't you get one?! Me: no.

So, we took the ferry (all by ourselves - thanks to Keith for arranging his guy to transport us from ferry to airport-AND he had Scooby Doo on for the kids!), got to the airport, and flew to Minneapolis. Then we rented a car (Katie: a car? do we get to keep it? ME: no.) and drove 2 hours to Alexandria for our family reunion. whew... Where we got to meet up with Tom-Tom (who had the most fabulous of vacations sans sisters and parents with MY parents... de-toxing will occur next week) and my mom and dad.

I LOVE that we are having reunions. My dad is the youngest of seven farm kids from North Dakota. You can't get a better history lesson than that. Plus, we got to play at the lake all day Saturday, and eat fantastic cook -out food, and enjoy my Aunt Shirley's kuche (koo soft k sound uh), which is actually my Grandma's kuche (imagine rich, sweet coffee cake)... so cool. Family rocks!

We drove back to Minneapolis via a cool town called Stillwater. I really like Stillwater. I will always make that a part of any Minnesota trip. We stayed in Danielle's favorite hotel, The Country Inn and Suites (Danielle: can we stay at the Country Inn? me: yes, that's where we are staying. Danielle: YAAAAAAYYYY!!!!)

Our final day... that's right... THE MALL OF AMERICA!!!!!!!!! I love, love, love to shop!!!!! If there is a store you can think of, it's at the Mall of America... sometimes there is more than one! Plus, they have the coolest legos on display! Plus we got to see Blue and the Avatar... IN the mall. Plus, they have The American Girl Doll store (swoon)... The only problem with visiting that mall for one day is... well, just that... you need at least four days to see the whole mall... but it was still fun.

So, then we turned in our rental car and returned to the airport with Tommy, this time...

(Katie: What?!! ANOTHER plane??!? Tommy: Is this really safe, I mean, can't we all die, I mean what about falling? Do you know the statistics on safety in airplanes? (flapping occurring) Danielle: Everyone needs to take a chill pill, flying is the safest way to travel (rolling eyes), and everyone needs to help poor mom out, grab your bags, stay together!!! Me: in through the nose, out through the mouth, in the pink, out the blue... yes, another plane... but it's the last one. Katie: I wanted to keep that car! I will miss that car!!! Me: no... )

Delta was awesome, by the way, letting us pre-board. Tommy: Are we first class VIPs? Me: no, we're autistic... and anxious.

Danielle takes the window, with her ipod, Katie covers her head with her blankie, in the middle, and I sit in the aisle across from Tommy and his ground hog (who has a seat to himself), flapping away... Thanks to Joe at Delta:)

Upon landing...

Tommy: My ears won't pop! Are you sure this is OK? Do you promise they will go back to normal!? Me: yes. Danielle: It goes back to normal in a few days, Tommy. Me: or hours, don't freak out about it, try yawning. Random passenger: It equalizes after you land. Tommy: aaah (flapping)... do you promise? do you, huh?

Seriously, though... Praise God for making this all happen so smoothly and safely. Thanks to Him for my wonderful family and friends, our histories, our desire to share with one another, helpful daughters that try so hard to make things a bit easier on me, and hard workers that allow me to share with my children such an amazing experience... Thanks to God for the talents of amazing people who have made travelling 6000 miles in one week possible.

Monday, July 11, 2011

..on a jet plane...

It's 2 am... I was supposed to sleep until 4 am.

It is not fair. I planned it all out, and here it is... I'm up two hours early.

Not. Fair. Can't. Sleep.

So, it must be excitement, because I love to travel. It is also very probably my anxious nature. Katie is anxious, too... but she can sleep.

So... how early is too early to have a drink when I've been up since 2 (am) I wonder?

Pray for all those travelling this week. I'm also praying for all those traffic controllers, federal Marshalls, mechanics, attendants, and pilots. I thank God for the beauty of friendship... all these women He has picked to be a part of my life. I am truly grateful.

Friday, July 8, 2011

travel nerves and changes

wow... I go to sleep and wake up to find my blog-thing totally different.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm sensitive to change? I don't fall apart like my youngest, or have a temper tantrum like my oldest, but... well... I just like warnings... I need to ease into things sometimes, or at least prepare for them.  Hopefully, I'll be able to figure this all out.

So, we are going to the pool today... and I'm getting laundry done (ho, hum). 

I'm having a very nervous stomach about flying next week, even though I'm totally excited, and there is just no way to drive across the country and back in 7 days.  I didn't think the tummy would protest so vehemently, but alas... here it is, unhappy and all that.

but... at least I know how to dress, now...

1 Peter 5:7 cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  --

Thursday, July 7, 2011

today's report

The plan of the day was to go to the library, go to Target, then go to the pool...

Two out of three isn't bad, right?

Katie was up at 2:00 AM, and never really went back to sleep, so she wanted and needed a nap.  Tom-Tom just wanted to read a few of those 32 books he checked out (OK... exaggerating... 22 books)... the pool just wasn't a happenin' thing today.

I re-instituted morning devotions today.  I was thinking that God should start all of our days, and lately we haven't been doing that, so we started back up today to remind each other that we need to be nice and considerate to one another.  How hard is that, really, right?  Apparently, in our family, it is hard (especially at the end of the day).  Reminders are nice.

Wouldn't the world just be a little more peaceful if we remembered to just play nice?  Which includes not sitting on your sister, or biting your brother in the shoulder, and remembering that we don't have to scream to be understood in this house- none of us has a hearing impairment (sensory/auditory processing issues: yes, ability to hear: normal).

So, I pray for patience and wisdom to teach these children to JUST BE NICE.  Make the good choice!

See... we can all get along- these are from recital weekend, by the way!

Titus 3: Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just an encouraging thought

Thanks to my mom, and her chaplain at work for sending this to me on a day I feel overwhelmed with insignificant things...

Fairy tales are more than true.
Not because they tell us that dragons exist,
but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.

Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


My, oh, my... it's been almost a whole month since I last posted.  I'm sorry about that.  Even my closest friends have mentioned to me, "well... it's been a while, you know, since your last post..."

Too true!

Summer is officially here and we are trying to make the most of it. 

The kids and I went trekking sown to Jacksonville to visit sweet, wise G-ma.  I always enjoy spending time with her, and I love that my children get to know her.  I remember my great grandma (G-ma's mom), we called her Gammy Grandma.  I remember that she always had pretty flowers growing in her yard and she always had candy in a crystal dish on an occasional table and she always had lipstick on.  I remember her husband, Grampa Russell.   He was hard to understand... and he was very hard of hearing.  I don't remember them for very long, though.  My memories of them are from memories of me being very young.  I hope my kids get to remember G-ma for very, very long.  And I guess that is kind of selfish on my part, and I know G-ma is tired, but every time I bid her farewell when I have to return home, I always pray that I get to have one more good bye.  One more story.  One more hug and kiss. Just one more, please.

We also got to spend time with my brother and his family.  The cousins love, love, love each other... and the Asheville zoo is pretty cool!  Well, it was actually pretty hot, but you know what I mean...

We've been swimming, too, and to Kings Dominion (which is way fun, even though we don't do too many roller coasters).  We totally hung out at the beach while in Jacksonville.  We even braved a few smokey days because of the Georgia fires. 

Mark and I got to go on a long motorcycle ride on Sunday.  It turned into a very long, very scary ride, though, because of a typical-comes-out-of-nowhere massive storm.  We literally made it to the chapel just in time to huddle under a porch for an hour while the storm passed.  God really must have wanted Mark in church on Sunday!  I got to tease him a little about that...

And we've been trying to get lots of rest... because we really do need it!